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thebeachbum
Oct 28, 2012, 07:26 PM
I have spent days reading and searching this site for the answer but still have a question.

I知 looking at my first Mac purchase in the next few days and trying to decide if the MBA 13 is still a good buy. I plan to upgrade to the I7, 8GB, and 512GB. My use is personal and work from home using Parallel or Fusion. I'm moving from a Toshiba 17" laptop the size of a small ship.

In the Apple Store, the MBA 13 looks like it would do the job, but I'm concerned about screen size and website readability. It appears that when visiting a website they stay within a certain "frame size" even if you maximize the screen. There is always lots of space on the screen not being used by the site. Do you have better readability if you go with a rMBP 15?

A loaded MBA with Apple Care is approximately $2,500 with the rMBP 15 a few hundred more. This is why I知 asking if the MBA still a good buy at this time.

Appreciate any comments.



Spoonz
Oct 28, 2012, 07:36 PM
I have spent days reading and searching this site for the answer but still have a question.

I知 looking at my first Mac purchase in the next few days and trying to decide if the MBA 13 is still a good buy. I plan to upgrade to the I7, 8GB, and 512GB. My use is personal and work from home using Parallel or Fusion. I'm moving from a Toshiba 17" laptop the size of a small ship.

In the Apple Store, the MBA 13 looks like it would do the job, but I'm concerned about screen size and website readability. It appears that when visiting a website they stay within a certain "frame size" even if you maximize the screen. There is always lots of space on the screen not being used by the site. Do you have better readability if you go with a rMBP 15?

A loaded MBA with Apple Care is approximately $2,500 with the rMBP 15 a few hundred more. This is why I知 asking if the MBA still a good buy at this time.

Appreciate any comments.

Everything else ignored, if you're spending that kind of money, you might be as well to get the rMBP unless having something ultra portable is of utmost importance to you.

Mrbobb
Oct 28, 2012, 08:36 PM
Nobody here thinks $500 bux from 256 to 512 SSD is a good buy.

TheRichboy247
Oct 28, 2012, 10:46 PM
What will you be using the laptop for?

J&JPolangin
Oct 28, 2012, 10:58 PM
I am waiting for Broadwell to hit the 11" MBA's hopeful that the battery life will get closer to the 7+ hours we now get on the 13" models...I was trying to decide between a 13" 2012 MBA open box @ $1,070 and a 13" 2011 MBP open box @ $806...

With the MBA I get a higher res screen, lighter machine and USB3 but I'm limited to a 128Gb SSD and 4Gb RAM.

With the MBP, its heavier by 1.5 lbs, the screen resolution is the same as my 5,2 9400m Whitebook its replacing (but its a little lighter), the CPU is faster than the MBA or my Whitebook, I can upgrade the RAM to 8Gb (with RAM I have) and use the MBP RAM in my 2011 iMac so that both machines will have 8Gb RAM in them and lastly, I got a 512Gb M4 Crucial SSD for $349 = I'll have a more powerful CPU, double the RAM and 4 times the internal storage over the MBA for $85 more than the cost of the open box 2012 MBA with the open box 2011 MBP = this machine will tide me over until Broadwell hopefully meets my mobil computing needs fully.

I'm also hopeful that the screens on the 11.6" MBA's get bumped up to ~12.3" with a reduction in bezel size and can then accommodate the 1440x900 resolution that the 13" MBA has right now vise the current 1368x768 they use:D

intz2nu
Oct 28, 2012, 11:05 PM
I was and still am currently a Windows User. However I'm now mainly a Win user on Mac equipment so I can actually have the best of both worlds. The super beautifully made, and high quality of a Mac but with Windows on it.

I came over from a 15" Sony Vaio, and before that had a 14" Sony Vaio. I previously owned a 2011 11" Macbook Air and honestly had some problems with the screen size being a bit too small. So this time around I now have a full-spec 2012 Macbook Air 13" model that I just purchased in the ending of September that came pre-installed with Mountain Lion.

I run Win7 Ultimate through Bootcamp (mainly so Windows is running at native speed and isn't *virtual* or *simulated like*) and I enjoy every bit of it. I use it mainly at home and for personal use aside of having a 2010 27" iMac.

I've always been happy with my Apple purchases and the same can be said about my full-spec 2012 MBA. I mainly purchased my MBA's for the pure looks of the darn thing because of how thin, yet quality construction of it. I know that I could never go down from a 13" as these screen sizes seem almost micro when always being in front of a 27" iMac monitor. But if I was to compare this with my previous Sony notebooks, both the 14" and 15" ones that I've had I would say that the screen size would not seem so micro-ish and small-ish when using it. It's just that now personally I look at it as being small-ish and micro-ish because I'm always behind of a 27 monitor. But you I would say you won't have any regret what so ever with either a MBA or a RMBP. Though the RMBP's won't allow you to use Windows via Bootcap because of driver support not being available for Windows because of how high a resolution the new RMBP's is. Though you can still install Windows using other software out there but it won't run at native speed. This is also mainly why I went with the MBA because of knowing I could install Windows using Bootcamp.

If the newer RMBP's was able to support Windows via Bootcamp I would have most likely gone that route but in the end either way you go you will lose the Optical Drive so that would only leave to a much higher resolution screen to have desire for which you would get on a RMBP. I personally would still take the Air over the RMBP because of it's pure beauty and thinness. Just a plain awesome computer and I'm not saying that the RMBP isn't awesome I just would still prefer an Air over it. :p

thebeachbum
Oct 29, 2012, 04:27 AM
What will you be using the laptop for?

It will be my only home computer that will also double as my work-from-home computer. It will not be connected to a larger monitor.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 29, 2012, 05:22 AM
You might want to consider lowering the storage and save some money.
And also forget Applecare. Not worth it in my opinion.

Falcon80
Oct 29, 2012, 08:02 AM
You might want to consider lowering the storage and save some money.
And also forget Applecare. Not worth it in my opinion.

I disagree. Applecare is extremely important if you intend to keep it for a while. Macbook repair is very expensive.

Steve121178
Oct 29, 2012, 08:29 AM
I have spent days reading and searching this site for the answer but still have a question.

I知 looking at my first Mac purchase in the next few days and trying to decide if the MBA 13 is still a good buy. I plan to upgrade to the I7, 8GB, and 512GB. My use is personal and work from home using Parallel or Fusion. I'm moving from a Toshiba 17" laptop the size of a small ship.

In the Apple Store, the MBA 13 looks like it would do the job, but I'm concerned about screen size and website readability. It appears that when visiting a website they stay within a certain "frame size" even if you maximize the screen. There is always lots of space on the screen not being used by the site. Do you have better readability if you go with a rMBP 15?

A loaded MBA with Apple Care is approximately $2,500 with the rMBP 15 a few hundred more. This is why I知 asking if the MBA still a good buy at this time.

Appreciate any comments.

MBA is still a great purchase. There's nothing else available that can match it really. The Vaio Z is a great machine but the MBA is a great piece of engineering. I would personally avoid upgrading to the i7, it's waste of money and you will see very, very little real world benefits from it (also bear in mind it's the ULV CPU's).

The best config for value/performance is i5/8GB/256GB SSD, but if you have the money to upgrade to 512GB then don't let anyone persuade you that it's "a waste of money". It's your machine and you know how much storage you need. If you plan on running VM's then 8GB RAM is essential and you can never have enough disk space.

However, if you do plan on smashing the machine's CPU & RAM daily, then perhaps one of the MBP's will be a more wiser choice.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 29, 2012, 08:32 AM
I disagree. Applecare is extremely important if you intend to keep it for a while. Macbook repair is very expensive.

2 years warranty should be fine

skaertus
Oct 30, 2012, 02:28 PM
MBA is still a great purchase. There's nothing else available that can match it really. The Vaio Z is a great machine but the MBA is a great piece of engineering. I would personally avoid upgrading to the i7, it's waste of money and you will see very, very little real world benefits from it (also bear in mind it's the ULV CPU's).

The Vaio Z and the MBA are laptops that should appeal to a different audience. The Vaio Z is more powerful, thinner and has a higher resolution than the MBA. And it is priced accordingly. The closest competitor to the Vaio Z would be the 13" rMBP. The Vaio Z is also a wonderful piece of engineering: Sony was able to put a quad-core processor inside a case which is even lighter than the MBA.

The competitors to the MBA are the ultrabooks; some of them, such as the Asus Zenbook Prime, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and the Samsung Series 9 may be considered better than the MBA in several aspects. The best overall is, of course, up to the weight you give to factors such as case materials, lightness, thickness, processor speed, screen, keyboard, trackpad, battery life, and so on.

The best config for value/performance is i5/8GB/256GB SSD, but if you have the money to upgrade to 512GB then don't let anyone persuade you that it's "a waste of money". It's your machine and you know how much storage you need. If you plan on running VM's then 8GB RAM is essential and you can never have enough disk space.

However, if you do plan on smashing the machine's CPU & RAM daily, then perhaps one of the MBP's will be a more wiser choice.

If you value things such as processor speed and screen quality, you should get the 13" rMBP. It is faster than the MBA and its screen is much better. However, if you need storage and is not willing to spend much more, then the MBA may be the solution.

----------

A loaded MBA with Apple Care is approximately $2,500 with the rMBP 15 a few hundred more. This is why I知 asking if the MBA still a good buy at this time.

Appreciate any comments.

If the rMBP is an option, then there is no contest. If the size and weight of the 15" rMBP are not a problem for you, then it simply smashes the 13" MBA in all other aspects.

Chipg
Oct 30, 2012, 02:54 PM
I did not buy Apple care, instead I bought my i7 loaded Air on my AMEX card that doubles the warranty to 2 years at no cost.

My Air is the best portable computer I have EVER owned! It is a mid 2011 loaded i7 and I have no plans to upgrade for a long time, it does everything I want including playing X Plane flight simulator with no prob.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 30, 2012, 03:07 PM
The Air really got no competitors, since MBA is the only one running OSX :)

skaertus
Oct 30, 2012, 03:11 PM
The Air really got no competitors, since MBA is the only one running OSX :)

Yeah, if the intention is to run OS X, then the only alternative would be other Macs... in this case, the rMBP might be a competitor depending on the configuration of the MBA.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 30, 2012, 03:19 PM
Yeah, if the intention is to run OS X, then the only alternative would be other Macs... in this case, the rMBP might be a competitor depending on the configuration of the MBA.

Of course the most if us want to use OSX. Sure, if money is no object and you wanna pay overprice for a rMBP then yeah. Otherwise Air is the only laptop running OSX offering most value (beside 15"rMBP)

orangezorki
Oct 30, 2012, 03:56 PM
Of course the most if us want to use OSX. Sure, if money is no object and you wanna pay overprice for a rMBP then yeah. Otherwise Air is the only laptop running OSX offering most value (beside 15"rMBP)

I'd argue that if you're looking for something with power, but don't mind a bit more weight to move around the house, the classic 15" MBP would be a much better buy - you can upgrade the RAM, and put a speedy SSD in the optical bay while keeping a large HD.

skaertus
Oct 30, 2012, 04:08 PM
Well, it seems like people have their own view in what would be the greatest value in buying Apple laptops. Everybody's got his own point, of course. But what must be pointed out is that users are in search of different features.

The rMBPs seem to pack most of the features, including a fast processor, SSD storage, a high-resolution IPS display, besides being thin and light. They're also the most expensive ones. The 13" and 15" cMBP are heavier, have traditional HDs and have much lower resolution displays; still, they have an optical disk drive and more storage, features which may be useful for some. And the MBA is the lightest of them all. In the end, that will depend on the specific needs of the user.

LYFK
Oct 30, 2012, 04:17 PM
I have spent days reading and searching this site for the answer but still have a question.

I知 looking at my first Mac purchase in the next few days and trying to decide if the MBA 13 is still a good buy. I plan to upgrade to the I7, 8GB, and 512GB. My use is personal and work from home using Parallel or Fusion. I'm moving from a Toshiba 17" laptop the size of a small ship.

In the Apple Store, the MBA 13 looks like it would do the job, but I'm concerned about screen size and website readability. It appears that when visiting a website they stay within a certain "frame size" even if you maximize the screen. There is always lots of space on the screen not being used by the site. Do you have better readability if you go with a rMBP 15?

A loaded MBA with Apple Care is approximately $2,500 with the rMBP 15 a few hundred more. This is why I知 asking if the MBA still a good buy at this time.

Appreciate any comments.

I bought an i7, 8GB, 256SSD + 2TB USB 3.0 for about $1700 ( I don't remember exactly)

I use the external for all my media files + archived work files. I use a separate, older drive for Time Machine backups.

As far as web readability, I find the real estate more than usable (I'm coming from a 2007 MBP with the same resolution). Viewing Macrumors at full screen leaves white margins on either side, and you can zoom in twice before going out of bounds.

It sounds like you should actually visit in-store and try the different sized laptops for web readability in Safari. You might also want an Apple employee to show you how to change the 'effective' size of the UI in Retina screens, so you can be more confident in your decision. $2500 is a lot!

torana355
Oct 30, 2012, 04:22 PM
MBA = my favorite piece of Apple gear. End thread. I have the 2011 13" model and i want to upgrade to the new model for usb3 and a larger SSD. Just do it!!!

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 30, 2012, 04:39 PM
Well, it seems like people have their own view in what would be the greatest value in buying Apple laptops. Everybody's got his own point, of course. But what must be pointed out is that users are in search of different features.

The rMBPs seem to pack most of the features, including a fast processor, SSD storage, a high-resolution IPS display, besides being thin and light. They're also the most expensive ones. The 13" and 15" cMBP are heavier, have traditional HDs and have much lower resolution displays; still, they have an optical disk drive and more storage, features which may be useful for some. And the MBA is the lightest of them all. In the end, that will depend on the specific needs of the user.

Definitely. Just to answer the question whether MBA is a good buy or not; it really depends in your usage. I'd say it's a good buy offering a lot of features at a reasonable price.

skaertus
Oct 30, 2012, 07:52 PM
Definitely. Just to answer the question whether MBA is a good buy or not; it really depends in your usage. I'd say it's a good buy offering a lot of features at a reasonable price.

When you say "reasonable price", you're probably putting that in the context of Macs, right? I say that because there are Windows machines which are priced more reasonably than the MBA.

TomCat
Oct 30, 2012, 07:52 PM
The Air really got no competitors, since MBA is the only one running OSX :)Actually, it really "got" [sic] a number of competitors, all of which are running OS X. 15" MBP, 15" rMBP, 13" MBP, 13" rMBP just for starters. I have a DJ friend that opted for a 17" MBP just recently because he needs the screen real estate, and that model was the last 17(and he's not alone, lots of folks opted for the 17" MBP just as the new models minus a new 17" came out).

All of these as well as the MP, MM, and iMac are great machines, and are in competition with each other for you to take them home, and it is terrific that even though they all overlap in certain different areas, each has strengths that would make one of them the just-right model for you.

And at the same time, each of them has 85% at least of what would be perfect, meaning you can buy the model that fits you up to about 98% of what your requirements are, but if you buy a model that is not the perfect fit, you still really can't go wrong (read: do only as much research as you are comfortable with and you will still come out OK).

What a great time to be a Mac user.

skaertus
Oct 30, 2012, 07:55 PM
MBA = my favorite piece of Apple gear. End thread. I have the 2011 13" model and i want to upgrade to the new model for usb3 and a larger SSD. Just do it!!!

Again, it doesn't work for everyone. For me, for instance, a MBA would not do.

----------

Actually, it really "got" [sic] a number of competitors, all of which are running OS X. 15" MBP, 15" rMBP, 13" MBP, 13" rMBP just for starters. I have a DJ friend that opted for a 17" MBP just recently because he needs the screen real estate, and that model was the last 17(and he's not alone, lots of folks opted for the 17" MBP just as the new models minus a new 17" came out).

All of these as well as the MP, MM, and iMac are great machines, and are in competition with each other for you to take them home, and it is terrific that even though they all overlap in certain different areas, each has strengths that would make one of them the just-right model for you.

And at the same time, each of them has 85% at least of what would be perfect, meaning you can buy the model that fits you up to about 98% of what your requirements are, but if you buy a model that is not the perfect fit, you still really can't go wrong (read: do only as much research as you are comfortable with and you will still come out OK).

What a great time to be a Mac user.

Weird. I just don't feel this way...

Nova Sensei
Oct 30, 2012, 09:26 PM
Well, I just got my first Mac (2012 13" Air).

100% happy with it, love the speed, the screen looks great etc. I'll upgrade in four years or so, and I'm sure at that point I'll be blown away again. Some people always have to have the latest and greatest, but for me it's much more fun when you can really "notice" and upgrade.

Gotta love tech.

shznit
Oct 30, 2012, 11:16 PM
An open box base model 2012 MBA 13 at Best Buy is <$1000. One of the best purchases I ever made. The cpu upgrade is minimal and a waste of money, the ram and storage upgrades are very circumstantial. I have a very hard time understanding how one justifies buying the pimped out model. The apple care is a complete waste of money, you are better off investing that money and using cash for repairs IF necessary. You get a year to decide and the next model will be out while your original warranty is still valid so if you decide to sell next year it's gonna be hard to recoup. I guess some people like to deck out their macs as a status thing, but you can buy a lot more cool stuff with the extra $1500.

LYFK
Oct 30, 2012, 11:52 PM
[QUOTE=skaertus;16183803]Again, it doesn't work for everyone. For me, for instance, a MBA would not do.[COLOR="#808080"]

----------

I'm curious as to why you don't think an MBA will do? Your signature shows that you have a 2008 2.4Ghz 13" MB. The new MBA outperforms that model handily.

Are you currently running a windows ultrabook as well? If so, what are you experiences with performance vs. cost?

skaertus
Oct 31, 2012, 01:22 AM
I'm curious as to why you don't think an MBA will do? Your signature shows that you have a 2008 2.4Ghz 13" MB. The new MBA outperforms that model handily.

Are you currently running a windows ultrabook as well? If so, what are you experiences with performance vs. cost?

Well, my signature shows a white MacBook which I bought back in 2008, with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor. I remember that I paid about US$ 2,300-2,400 for this machine (yes, I live in Brazil and prices here are outrageous). Although I found it a fine laptop, it fell short of many of my expectations in regard to the processor speed, the video card (which could not drive an external monitor without lagging), the RAM (too little to run Parallels) and the screen resolution (too low at 1280x800). At the time, I couldn't afford to pay more than US$ 4,000 for a 15" MBP, so I had to settle with this one.

In the beginning of 2011, I bought a Windows laptop. A desktop replacement with a Core i7-2720QM, 8 GB RAM, an hybrid 500 GB HD (with 8 GB SSD), a dedicated NVIDIA video card and a 15.6" screen capable of displaying a 1920x1080 resolution. However, it lacks the premium feel and build quality of the Mac; it is also a little on the heavy side and the battery life is not as good as I expected. In addition, the hybrid drive disappointed me and I promised myself that I would never buy a computer with an HD again. The laptop performs well, though.

As you may wonder, I couldn't change this laptop for a MBA. In fact, every time I use the white MacBook, the thing that most bothers me is the low resolution and the lack of work area. I am not half as productive on the Mac as I am on the PC. I just couldn't go back to a laptop with a resolution lower than 1920x1080, especially a Mac, when you have font rendering technology which doesn't help readability on low resolution screens.

I am thinking of buying another laptop, though. But it will have to be some sort of "thin-and-light desktop replacement", which doesn't have the shortcomings of neither my two laptops. I am being extremely picky indeed because the shortcomings of my laptops haunt me every time I use them, and it really annoys me. Therefore, a MBA will not do. Some of the laptops which came to my mind are the 13" rMBP, the Sony Vaio Z, the 13" Asus Zenbook Prime and the Acer Aspire S7. They all look "premium laptops" while also being thin and light... I don't know if I like the keyboard and trackpad of all of them, though, and I think I'll just wait for Haswell to buy some new one.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 31, 2012, 01:50 AM
Again, it doesn't work for everyone. For me, for instance, a MBA would not do.

----------



Weird. I just don't feel this way...

What are you actually hoping to achieve on this board, if you're not into Macs?

Barche
Oct 31, 2012, 06:55 AM
If you want all of the following:
- an ultraportable (13.3" max) with decent build quality
- 8 GB RAM
- A screen better than the crap 1366x768
- At least intel i5

Then it seems to me that the Macbook Air is actually the cheapest machine available. So yes, I think it's a good buy. (and I'll buy one soon, I promise ;)

LYFK
Oct 31, 2012, 09:42 AM
Well, my signature shows a white MacBook which I bought back in 2008, with a Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz processor. I remember that I paid about US$ 2,300-2,400 for this machine (yes, I live in Brazil and prices here are outrageous). Although I found it a fine laptop, it fell short of many of my expectations in regard to the processor speed, the video card (which could not drive an external monitor without lagging), the RAM (too little to run Parallels) and the screen resolution (too low at 1280x800). At the time, I couldn't afford to pay more than US$ 4,000 for a 15" MBP, so I had to settle with this one.

In the beginning of 2011, I bought a Windows laptop. A desktop replacement with a Core i7-2720QM, 8 GB RAM, an hybrid 500 GB HD (with 8 GB SSD), a dedicated NVIDIA video card and a 15.6" screen capable of displaying a 1920x1080 resolution. However, it lacks the premium feel and build quality of the Mac; it is also a little on the heavy side and the battery life is not as good as I expected. In addition, the hybrid drive disappointed me and I promised myself that I would never buy a computer with an HD again. The laptop performs well, though.

As you may wonder, I couldn't change this laptop for a MBA. In fact, every time I use the white MacBook, the thing that most bothers me is the low resolution and the lack of work area. I am not half as productive on the Mac as I am on the PC. I just couldn't go back to a laptop with a resolution lower than 1920x1080, especially a Mac, when you have font rendering technology which doesn't help readability on low resolution screens.

I am thinking of buying another laptop, though. But it will have to be some sort of "thin-and-light desktop replacement", which doesn't have the shortcomings of neither my two laptops. I am being extremely picky indeed because the shortcomings of my laptops haunt me every time I use them, and it really annoys me. Therefore, a MBA will not do. Some of the laptops which came to my mind are the 13" rMBP, the Sony Vaio Z, the 13" Asus Zenbook Prime and the Acer Aspire S7. They all look "premium laptops" while also being thin and light... I don't know if I like the keyboard and trackpad of all of them, though, and I think I'll just wait for Haswell to buy some new one.

OH ok, that makes perfect sense now.

I currently own a MBA, having come from a 15" 2007 MBP. The difference is night and day. I think the current 13" MBA is actually the best value MAC aside from the Mac Mini. The portability is impressive, the screen size doesn't feel like a compromise. That being said, I do not use it for heavy gaming, nor do I use it for heavy photo/video editing. I still do those things, just not on the extreme end.

I do not think the 1st gen 13" rMBP is worth the investment. In fact, I'm having a tough time comparing what next year's MBA and 13" rMBP could be without still favoring the MBA.

So, my advice, based on what you're saying, (great performance, thin & light, great keyboard & trackpad), would be to get a 15" rMBP. I would start saving now, so you can spend 3k next year on the Haswell refresh. That should be a computer that you can proudly use for 5 years. Coming from a 17" beast, you will really appreciate it!

skaertus
Oct 31, 2012, 01:35 PM
OH ok, that makes perfect sense now.

I currently own a MBA, having come from a 15" 2007 MBP. The difference is night and day. I think the current 13" MBA is actually the best value MAC aside from the Mac Mini. The portability is impressive, the screen size doesn't feel like a compromise. That being said, I do not use it for heavy gaming, nor do I use it for heavy photo/video editing. I still do those things, just not on the extreme end.

Actually, when I got my Core i7 in early 2011, I thought of a MBA. However, at that time, the Sandy Bridge architecture had just been released, and the MBA was still stuck with Core 2 Duo processors (not even Nehalem). I found that an ULV Core 2 Duo processor would be too little for my needs and then I skipped it. There were no ultrabooks that could serve as alternatives at the time, and the unibody MBPs did not really appeal to me.

Then I found this Core i7 which had a lot of power, yet it was announced as having a decent battery life (5 hours due to NVIDIA Optimus technology, and which I later found to last much less than that) and not really heavy (5.6 lbs, which is about the same as the 15" MBP, although later I found out that the AC adapter, which I would always have to carry due to the poor battery life, was a heavy brick). And, still, it was a real bargain at about US$ 3,000 (well, you may find it expensive, but I would have to fork US$ 6,000 for a 15" MBP with similar specs at that time, and I was not willing to do that).

Looking back, it may have been some overkill. I don't play games and I don't do photo editing. I mainly browse the web and I am currently writing my PhD thesis. A large screen area is important for managing all the research papers and notes I have to, so I could take advantage of the 1920x1080 real estate. And the performance was welcomed, as the MacBook struggled to handle my library of over 1,000 PDFs.

Now, I guess I'm spoiled by the performance and the features of the i7.

I do not think the 1st gen 13" rMBP is worth the investment. In fact, I'm having a tough time comparing what next year's MBA and 13" rMBP could be without still favoring the MBA.

It's really a hard time. What could happen is the following (I'm not saying it will happen, nor that there is a strong chance it will happen, I'm just saying it may happen or not):

13" rMBP:
- may get a quad-core Haswell (depending on whether Intel will make mainstream quad-core processors for laptops or not);
- 256 GB SSD on the base model;
- better battery life;
- price may be reduced after the cMBP is discontinued.

13" MBA:
- may be redesigned and become even thinner and lighter with the adoption of new materials;
- may get a retina display;
- 8 GB DDR3 on the top-end model;
- Haswell ULV processor will allow a much better battery life;
- price may increase due to a possible redesign.

Apple may add some of these features to the 13" rMBP and MBA lines in 2013. It will probably not add all of them, but some of them will probably make their way into the 2013 line.

So, my advice, based on what you're saying, (great performance, thin & light, great keyboard & trackpad), would be to get a 15" rMBP. I would start saving now, so you can spend 3k next year on the Haswell refresh. That should be a computer that you can proudly use for 5 years. Coming from a 17" beast, you will really appreciate it!

I am actually more inclined towards the 13" rMBP than the 15" rMBP, actually, due to the portability. I feel, however, that the 15" rMBP is a much better value, with a quad-core processor, a dedicated video card, a larger SSD and a higher resolution display.

Anyway, the 13" rMBP is currently selling for US$ 3,500 and the 15" rMBP, for US$ 5,000. Although it is a lot of money, I'll certainly not last 5 years and I'll exchange it within the next 2-3 years, as I always do...

skaertus
Oct 31, 2012, 01:57 PM
What are you actually hoping to achieve on this board, if you're not into Macs?

In fact, I think Macs are well-built machines and they offer a very pleasant experience. OS X is a great OS to use, and it doesn't get inexplicably slow as Windows does. I just wished it could do everything that I can under Windows and that these two OSs were interchengeable so I could use any of them to do the tasks I need to. Regrettably, Microsoft Office for Mac is a bad piece of software, and Endnote for Mac (which I have to use, at least for now) is even worse. Therefore, I can't just get rid of Windows.

In addition, I don't find the MBA compelling, because there are Windows machines which can better fit my needs. But the rMBP, although expensive, is great hardware and unmatched by anything in the Windows world (which will probably catch up when Haswell is released next year). If I were to buy a Mac right now, it would definitely be the rMBP. Still, I have not closed my eyes to any of the two platforms (Mac and Windows) and I will buy my next computer based on what I think suits me better.

I also have to say that am a little concerned about turning myself totally to the Mac because of a simple reason: the pricing. And I am not afraid of Apple, here. The higher Apple pushes the prices of Macs, they will always be within a reasonable (although expensive) range. I am actually afraid of the Brazilian government. A 15" rMBP costs US$ 5,000 here due to the taxes. In addition to that, due to the exchange rate policy adopted by Brazil, Macs became 30-40% more expensive in the last 12 months (in local currency). The government is currently adopting a policy of lowering the value of the local currency vis-a-vis the US dollar as a protectionist measure against Chinese products. Protectionist measures have been frequently adopted in Brazil during the 20th century to foster the development of local industries (although that never happened and never will), heavily punishing customers (and that's why a Mac costs more than double here than in te US). And the incredibly high prices resulting from these protectionist measures are the reason why Macs were virtually unknown in Brazil some ten or twelve years ago. Now, although expensive, they are still affordable. But, although I can still buy a Mac right now (even if it costs 30-40% more than last year), I don't know if I'll be able to buy another one within 5 years (as it may end up costing double or triple what it costs today, depending on the exchange rate policies), and that's why I don't want to become too dependable on it. But I'll always be able to buy a PC, as the Brazilian government actually gives tax incentives to Brazilian companies to produce very low-end and crappy Windows machines.

Lukewarmwinner
Oct 31, 2012, 02:37 PM
In fact, I think Macs are well-built machines and they offer a very pleasant experience. OS X is a great OS to use, and it doesn't get inexplicably slow as Windows does. I just wished it could do everything that I can under Windows and that these two OSs were interchengeable so I could use any of them to do the tasks I need to. Regrettably, Microsoft Office for Mac is a bad piece of software, and Endnote for Mac (which I have to use, at least for now) is even worse. Therefore, I can't just get rid of Windows.

In addition, I don't find the MBA compelling, because there are Windows machines which can better fit my needs. But the rMBP, although expensive, is great hardware and unmatched by anything in the Windows world (which will probably catch up when Haswell is released next year). If I were to buy a Mac right now, it would definitely be the rMBP. Still, I have not closed my eyes to any of the two platforms (Mac and Windows) and I will buy my next computer based on what I think suits me better.

I also have to say that am a little concerned about turning myself totally to the Mac because of a simple reason: the pricing. And I am not afraid of Apple, here. The higher Apple pushes the prices of Macs, they will always be within a reasonable (although expensive) range. I am actually afraid of the Brazilian government. A 15" rMBP costs US$ 5,000 here due to the taxes. In addition to that, due to the exchange rate policy adopted by Brazil, Macs became 30-40% more expensive in the last 12 months (in local currency). The government is currently adopting a policy of lowering the value of the local currency vis-a-vis the US dollar as a protectionist measure against Chinese products. Protectionist measures have been frequently adopted in Brazil during the 20th century to foster the development of local industries (although that never happened and never will), heavily punishing customers (and that's why a Mac costs more than double here than in te US). And the incredibly high prices resulting from these protectionist measures are the reason why Macs were virtually unknown in Brazil some ten or twelve years ago. Now, although expensive, they are still affordable. But, although I can still buy a Mac right now (even if it costs 30-40% more than last year), I don't know if I'll be able to buy another one within 5 years (as it may end up costing double or triple what it costs today, depending on the exchange rate policies), and that's why I don't want to become too dependable on it. But I'll always be able to buy a PC, as the Brazilian government actually gives tax incentives to Brazilian companies to produce very low-end and crappy Windows machines.

You're not really answering the question. Obviously Mac isn't for you. Sound much more like a PC-man. I was born and raised with OSX and whenever I use a Windows it feels like traveling back in time.

As I see it you got 3 options:

1. buy a Windows laptop
2. buy a rMBP 15"
3. Move

LYFK
Oct 31, 2012, 06:03 PM
Actually, when I got my Core i7 in early 2011, I thought of a MBA. However, at that time, the Sandy Bridge architecture had just been released, and the MBA was still stuck with Core 2 Duo processors (not even Nehalem). I found that an ULV Core 2 Duo processor would be too little for my needs and then I skipped it. There were no ultrabooks that could serve as alternatives at the time, and the unibody MBPs did not really appeal to me.

Then I found this Core i7 which had a lot of power, yet it was announced as having a decent battery life (5 hours due to NVIDIA Optimus technology, and which I later found to last much less than that) and not really heavy (5.6 lbs, which is about the same as the 15" MBP, although later I found out that the AC adapter, which I would always have to carry due to the poor battery life, was a heavy brick). And, still, it was a real bargain at about US$ 3,000 (well, you may find it expensive, but I would have to fork US$ 6,000 for a 15" MBP with similar specs at that time, and I was not willing to do that).

Looking back, it may have been some overkill. I don't play games and I don't do photo editing. I mainly browse the web and I am currently writing my PhD thesis. A large screen area is important for managing all the research papers and notes I have to, so I could take advantage of the 1920x1080 real estate. And the performance was welcomed, as the MacBook struggled to handle my library of over 1,000 PDFs.

Now, I guess I'm spoiled by the performance and the features of the i7.



It's really a hard time. What could happen is the following (I'm not saying it will happen, nor that there is a strong chance it will happen, I'm just saying it may happen or not):

13" rMBP:
- may get a quad-core Haswell (depending on whether Intel will make mainstream quad-core processors for laptops or not);
- 256 GB SSD on the base model;
- better battery life;
- price may be reduced after the cMBP is discontinued.

13" MBA:
- may be redesigned and become even thinner and lighter with the adoption of new materials;
- may get a retina display;
- 8 GB DDR3 on the top-end model;
- Haswell ULV processor will allow a much better battery life;
- price may increase due to a possible redesign.

Apple may add some of these features to the 13" rMBP and MBA lines in 2013. It will probably not add all of them, but some of them will probably make their way into the 2013 line.



I am actually more inclined towards the 13" rMBP than the 15" rMBP, actually, due to the portability. I feel, however, that the 15" rMBP is a much better value, with a quad-core processor, a dedicated video card, a larger SSD and a higher resolution display.

Anyway, the 13" rMBP is currently selling for US$ 3,500 and the 15" rMBP, for US$ 5,000. Although it is a lot of money, I'll certainly not last 5 years and I'll exchange it within the next 2-3 years, as I always do...

Wow, ok now it all makes sense. Well I can agree that you definitely need a sharp screen for reading documents, and obviously prices being what they are in your country, it doesn't make sense to buy something that holds a premium for lower-tier mobile performance, when there are much much much cheaper alternatives.

Definitely get the 13" rMBP, but don't spring for the fastest one, because it doesn't sound like you will max out the performance. You may not even need to upgrade for a few years either, unless battery life jumps substantially. If prices are as high as you say, then it will still hold it's value in the resell, will it not?

TheRichboy247
Nov 2, 2012, 02:10 AM
It will be my only home computer that will also double as my work-from-home computer. It will not be connected to a larger monitor.

If you're using it as a primary, you might want to consider a 15 rMBP although a maxed out MBA will suit you fine. It will be quite powerful and will handle mostly everything that you throw at it.

jrasero
Nov 2, 2012, 11:45 AM
At that price it's not worth it

go refurbished


Apple has limited stock on maxed out 13" Air
Refurbished MacBook Air 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i7
13.3-inch
8GB memory
512GB flash storage
720p FaceTime HD camera
Intel HD Graphics 4000
for $1870

a non refurbished maxed out Air is just too much at that price go with the 15" RMBP

HurtinMinorKey
Nov 2, 2012, 11:55 AM
Do you think the 13inch MBA is robust enough to handle logic pro recording multiple instruments simultaneously+MIDI?

jrasero
Nov 2, 2012, 04:31 PM
Do you think the 13inch MBA is robust enough to handle logic pro recording multiple instruments simultaneously+MIDI?

My dad is an artist and he uses his old Macbook (white). It's slow but works. With Ivy Bridge it should work fine, but most artists I know opt for the MBP line. The studio my dad records at only has Mac Pros, Macbook Pros 15"+. No 13" ones and no Retinas